Weather Wagers rolls on as the calendar flips from September to October this week. Not only are the games intriguing, but the forecast is one to watch as the remnants of Hurricane Ian could make for a stormy Saturday in college football across the Mid-Atlantic and South. The rain will linger in the east for some NFL games on Sunday too. We’ve got the latest track for Ian, the forecast for some of the biggest games this weekend, and our picks. Plus, Brett pays off the hottest of hot wings bet after the Bills tanked to the Dolphins last week. It’s a can’t miss Weather Wagers!
Here are our selections this week:
Virginia Tech @ North Carolina, Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, NC, North Carolina -9, O/U 51
The remnants of Hurricane Ian will absolutely have an impact on several games this week, including this one in Chapel Hill. Mack Brown comes into this game giving up over 500 yards and almost 40 points per game. I don’t feel bad for him though. He’s the one that brought in Gene Chizek to run his defense. Sometimes you reap what you sow Mack. On the other sideline, Brent Pry has had a rocky start to his tenure at the Head Hokie. The offense seems so-so and his team got run over at home last week by West Virginia. I have my doubts they can keep up with North Carolina in this game. I like North Carolina to win, and I’ll lay the points. They are home. I want to take the under given the weather, but the Tar Heels are averaging 46.5 points per game and giving up almost as much, as I mentioned above. Too risky for me. I’ll hold my nose and take Mack and North Carolina to cover the 9.
Virginia @ Duke, Wallace Wade Stadium, Durham, NC, Duke -2.5, O/U 49
Another game where rain, thunderstorms, and wind will play a factor Saturday night. If this game comes down to a field goal, and it could given the small spread, look out! While Ian will have significantly weakened by Saturday, rain and winds will still be present as the low wraps around the Carolinas and into the Tennessee Valley. I really like what Mike Elko has done with the Blue Devils thus far and other than a loss to 4-0 Kansas last week, the team seems to be on the right track. Nothing better to get right off a loss by coming back home and facing a team that is struggling to find its identity under new head coach Tony Elliott. Duke is scoring a lot more than Virginia with QB Riley Leonard throwing for over 1000 yards already this season along with 6 touchdowns. Virginia played well against Syracuse last week but came up just short. I like Duke to get it done at home, but I also don’t trust either offense to have a field day in this type of weather. In this game, with these conditions, give me the under. Under 49.
NC State @ Clemson, Memorial Stadium, Clemson, SC, Clemson -6.5, O/U 40
This could very well be the game of the weekend in the college ranks. It looks that way on paper anyway as it features two top 10 opponents. NC State comes to Death Valley with an undefeated record and a chance to vault to favored status in the ACC ranks. Dabo Swinney needs no introduction but has struggled recently keeping up with the Alabamas, Georgias, and Ohio States of the world. For me, it goes back to the QB position. Can D.J. Uiagalelei really lead Clemson back to the playoffs? He proved last week that he can score and keep pace with a high powered offense. This game could come down to the defenses. As much as we hear about the Clemson defense, NC state have given up less yards and 10 fewer points per game than Clemson. Given the rainstorm that will descend on Howard’s Rock Saturday night, this game could turn into a defensive struggle. Dave Doeren wants nothing more than to beat NC State’s thorn in the side as of late, the Clemson Tigers. He may get his chance in a slop-fest Saturday. I think these two teams matchup well and it could be the home field is the only advantage. NC State has had this one circled since last year’s upset when they beat the Tigers. Clemson likely has had it circled too. So have college football fans. I’ll take NC State to keep it close. Wolfpack +6.5.
Jaguars @ Eagles, Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA, Eagles -6.5, O/U 48
How about this for a fun one at the Linc? Doug Pederson brings Trevor Lawrence to town to face what looks like the best team in the NFC East. Will Philly boo Doug Pederson? Probably. Should they? Of course not. He brought them their only Super Bowl on one of the most memorable plays in sports history. He was a good coach, seems like a good guy, and just couldn’t keep the momentum going. He should get a standing ovation from the Philly faithful on Sunday, but pardon me if I hold my breath for that. The Jaguars got rid of the plague that was Urban Meyer and all of a sudden they appear to be competitive. They need a better defense and likely need to surround Lawrence with one or two more weapons to fully realize their potential. But make no mistake, they will continue to win some games this season. I don’t think this will be one of them though. The Eagles look stout. Jalen Hurts has grown at QB and he now has more weapons including A.J. Brown and Dallas Goedert. Good luck stopping that attack. And let’s not leave out the running game. Miles Sanders is a force to reckoned with behind an offense line that appears to finally be on the same page. The defense needs to hold up against the Jags on Sunday, but given that showers are in the forecast from Ian, I’m not concerned. If the run game is favored, give me the Eagles all day. I really like this team. Eagles -6.5.
Bills @ Ravens, M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD, Bills -3, O/U 52
The Bills cost me our hot, hot, hot wing bet challenge last week as they let one go down in Miami. They did have a defense riddled with injuries (which I found out too late after making the wing bet), and Miami is a good football team. However, I think the Bills will come out angry as they make their way back up the east coast and stop off in Baltimore. Josh Allen has better weapons around him than Lamar Jackson does, but Jackson has been playing terrifically lately. The Ravens have some defensive issues as of late though and that could cost them in this game. It’s another sloppy game thanks to Ian’s remnants, but I don’t expect that to factor into each team’s offensive plan. Given the two QBs in this game, I again can’t take the under in good conscience. I’m sticking with the Bills. Nobody circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills. And they better this week. Bills -3.
Washington @ UCLA, Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA, Washington -3, O/U 65.5
Maybe a couple of undefeated teams playing on a Friday night will help attendance at the fabled Rose Bowl venue where UCLA plays football. I doubt it. Despite both teams being 4-0 and being alive in a fun PAC-12 race, Californians just don’t seem interested in the sport of college football anymore. I’ve heard the excuses that school isn’t in session yet and there are bigger and better things to do, but I mean seriously? You have Chip Kelly as your head coach and you are undefeated taking on a decent Washington squad. Show up! Get excited! I don’t understand the lethargic fans in that state. It’s sad seeing a nearly empty Rose Bowl every time UCLA takes the field. I’m sure it will look the same this Friday night as the Huskies roll in. Chip Kelly is 4-0. But let’s face it, they could have faced stronger competition in the Mid Penn League. Meanwhile, Washington is rolling with head coach Kalen DeBoer and transfer QB from Indiana Michael Penix. I like Penix and what this offense has to offer. On paper, it seems like an even matchup. Both teams averaging around 42 points per game and giving up around 20 points per game. But again, UCLA has played nobody. Less than nobody! I like the road favorite here. Huskies big. BIG. Washington -3.
Texas Tech @ Kansas State, Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Manhattan, KS, KSU -8, O/U 57.5
Our second “Under the Radar” game this week features two teams that really impressed me last week. Texas Tech got the outright win for me against Texas in Lubbock. Meanwhile, Kansas State loses to Tulane the week before than just rolls into Oklahoma and blows the doors off the Sooners. Adrian Martinez shined in the bright lights last week and knocked off Oklahoma by throwing 4 touchdowns with a long one of 55 yards. Donovan Smith is Tech’s signal caller and also managed last week’s game quite well and has over 1100 yards for the season. This one looks fun and could turn into a shootout Saturday afternoon in the Little Apple. I like Kansas State here and while they could cover the touchdown and a hook, Tech can be sneaky. Ask Texas. I think there will be a lot of points from both sides here. Two decent QBs, Big 12 game at Noon, and both teams feeling good after last week? Give me the over. Over 57.5.
Dolphins @ Bengals, Paycor Stadium, Cincinnati, OH, Bengals -4, O/U 47
This is a great matchup in the AFC for Prime Video on Thursday night. Two of the better teams in the league square off. The Bengals are coming off a win over the lowly New York Jets and that was likely a “get-right” game for them. Now they come back home to face the undefeated Dolphins, fresh off the upset win over the Buffalo Bills. Again, just a reminder that game cost me the hot wing bet. I’m sour. The Dolphins catch a break and get to flee town just in time for Ian to wreak havoc in Florida. They won’t catch a break in this game, however. Tua’s status is up in the air as of this writing and I just feel like Miami is due to come back to earth. Facing a tough Bengals squad at home is the perfect way for them to land back where they belong. I’ll lay the points with Joey Burrow and the fightin’ Bengals at home. Cincinnati -4.
Tulane @ Houston, TDECU Stadium, Houston, TX, Houston -2.5, O/U 55.5
I was told Houston would be a competitive team this year by “the experts”. Well, I’m no expert, at least when it comes to football, but I do have eyes. And from what I’ve seen, Dana Holgorsen’s team is less than competitive when it counts. They have losses to Texas Tech and Kansas. Two good teams, yes. But these guys certainly don’t hold a candle to Cincinnati last year. I haven’t been impressed. Meanwhile, the Green Wave and Willie Fritz lost last week to Southern Miss by a field goal – but that comes after a big win over Kansas State. Houston has some issues on defense and despite the fact they play at home, I like Tulane to march into TDECU Stadium and roll. Tyjae Spears is Tulane’s running back and could be the difference in this game if he gets going. He already has over 200 yards rushing and 6 touchdowns. Roll Green Wave. I think Tulane can win outright here. Tulane Moneyline upset!
New Mexico @ UNLV, Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, NV, UNLV -14.5, O/U 43
I just love what Marcus Arroyo is building at UNLV. They are a fun team to watch, and they have 1 close loss to California. New Mexico comes to town, and I just can’t see this team staying with the high powered offense of the Rebels. Aiden Robbins has over 400 yards rushing and 7 touchdowns for UNLV and will likely run wild Friday night against the Lobos. Call me crazy. But I’ll take UNLV BIG. I’ll lay the points with the home team at Allegiant Stadium. UNLV -14.5.
Here’s a summary of my picks for Week 6. Enjoy your football weekend!
Games of the Week
North Carolina -9
Virginia @ Duke UNDER 49
NC State +6.5
Under the Radar Game
Texas Tech @ Kansas State OVER 57.5
Brett’s Best Bets
Tulane ML Upset
After last week, I’m back with a winning record. Plus, I ate those ghost pepper wings like a champ (make fun of me if you must), but I’ll take losing the Bills game and a profitable 8-2 record any day of the week. Even though I can no longer feel my tongue. -Brett Thackara
Brett was able to gain some ground this past week on me in the overall standings, but I also had a strong showing with a 7-3 record with my picks. Here is hoping I can keep up the pace with Brett hard charging behind me!
Virginia Tech @ North Carolina, Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, NC, North Carolina -9, O/U 55.5
Virginia Tech under Brent Pry continues to show very little offensively, and their defensive scheme is still slow to come around. This is a rebuilding project to say the least for the Hokies, while North Carolina tries to recover from a rough showing against Notre Dame. Can North Carolina’s defense stop anyone? Even in a driving rain from Ian this Saturday I give North Carolina an easy win, but the weather could certainly tighten the match-up. Give me Mack Brown’s Tar Heels to notch an ACC win, I’ll take them at -9!
Virginia @ Duke, Wallace Wade Stadium, Durham, NC, Duke -2.5, O/U 56
As you might imagine Hurricane Ian is going to be a major problem for all ACC games in the Mid-Atlantic. Duke had a great game against Kansas, but lost and that ended their undefeated campaign. Meanwhile, Virginia has a new head coach too in Tony Elliott who was most recently Clemson’s offensive coordinator. So far that offense has not traveled north. When you add in the rain with not a lot of playmakers on the field for either team, scores should stay low and the margin close. Duke gets the edge being the home team, but I admit this is a tough call- Duke at -2.5 for me.
NC State @ Clemson, Memorial Stadium, Clemson, SC, Clemson -7, O/U 44.5
Dabo got very lucky last week to escape Winston-Salem with a win. NC State is a team that doesn’t let Clemson off the hook easily either. NC State has put up points this year so far, and has a solid win on it’s undefeated resume again Texas Tech. DJ Uiagalelei had a career game last week, and he will be put to the test again. I pick Clemson to win, but with rain and sloppy offense likely I think this game is closer than the line suggests.
Jaguars @ Eagles, Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA, Eagles -7, O/U 48
Doug returns north to Philadelphia for a homecoming of sorts, and I think the Eagles fan base will give him the warm welcome he deserves. On the other side of the field, the Eagles have a team that fully bought into Nick Sirianni and his coordinators who have a hot hand on offense and defense. It feels like this edition of the Eagles has a special dynamic going on. The Jaguars looked good last week taking it to the Chargers last week, but I don’t think they are the team to end the Eagles’ winning streak. I think the Eagles start at an unprecedented 4-0 based on their franchise history and roll with the -7 line.
Bills @ Ravens, M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD, Bills -3, O/U 53.5
If weather truly becomes a factor, I think this game favors Lamar Jackson’s skill set. The Bills seem to be struggling a bit on offense anyway, so I believe this is a game Harbaugh and company can take at home. If weather is less of a factor, perhaps this line is correct in the end. My take though is Ravens +3.
Washington @ UCLA, Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA, Washington -2.5, O/U 64
It is sad to see the low attendance at games in California. I truly believe the college playoff system favors too many of the same programs year after year, and it also seems to shut out the west coast teams. When your team doesn’t have much of a chance to make the ultimate step forward to the playoffs, what is the point? Well Washington to this point may be surprise of the college football season. Chip Kelly is going to his best to wear down the Washington defense with his fast-moving offensive approach.
Texas Tech @ Kansas State, Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Manhattan, KS, KSU -7.5, O/U 57.5
Boy oh boy, what a win for Kansas State in Norman last week. They were in complete control and looked to be the better team overall against the Sooners. Texas Tech also comes into this match-up with a great win over Texas. Will this week be a let down game from the emotional victories last week? Given the quiet nature of this game, not on national TV, and an early start in Manhattan I think the home Wildcats have an upper hand. Kansas State could be on to a dream season with another solid victory- I’ll take Chris Klieman to ride Adrian Martinez to victory at -7.5.
Kentucky @ Ole Miss, Vaught Hemingway Stadium, Oxford, MS, Ole Miss -6.5, O/U 54
This is my upset for this week in terms of the AP poll standings. While Will Levis and Kentucky have been enjoying a great season, they have to go into hostile territory on the road in Oxford, MS. Lane Kiffin has assembled a talented offense, and ultimately I don’t think the Wildcats can keep up. I take Ole Miss to continue their quest to be a problem in the SEC at -6.5.
Alabama @ Arkansas, Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium, Fayetteville, AR, Alabama -17.5, O/U 61
Arkansas lost a heart breaker to Texas A&M last week, and their poor kicker somehow managed to hit the top of the upright and miss the game winning field goal. While I don’t see the Razorbacks beating Bryce Young and Nick Saban, I do see this being a tight four quarter game. The line seems huge to me at -17.5, so I am happy to take Arkansas and Sam Pittman at +17.5 to give old Nick Saban a scare on the road.
Rams @ 49ers, Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA, 49ers -2.5, O/U 42
49ers injury to Trey Lance put a big wrinkle into their season, while the Rams have yet to find their footing coming off the Super Bowl. Ultimately this should be a close game, and relatively low scoring as indicated by the line. The Rams simply have more fire power on offense. This could a be a good, statement win for Matthew Stafford and company- give me the Rams at +2.5.
Here’s a summary of my picks for Week 6:
Games of the Week
North Carolina -9
Under the Radar Game
Kansas State -8
Ole Miss -6.5
The Eagles are flying high and Penn State looks ready for the tough Big 10 schedule ahead, what is not to love (at least for me)! College football continues to provide thrillers each week, and the NFL has nearly all close games it seems anymore. It promises to be another great weekend of entertainment. Enjoy! -Dan Tomaso
*All odds from Caesars Sportsbook as of 9/28/22.